C40's Journal

Where are you and where are you going?
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Viktor K
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by Viktor K » Thu Oct 06, 2016 8:23 pm

Thanks for the quick reply man! That's awesome that you read my journal too :)

I think you're right - a cell phone data plan may be too unreliable. I appreciate the insight! I might have to reach out to Akratic as well, but you've given me some ideas to think over.

Safe travels man!

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Gilberto de Piento
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by Gilberto de Piento » Thu Oct 06, 2016 9:09 pm

Regarding the pension, how is the company doing? Do you trust them to keep paying you, even a long time from now?

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C40
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by C40 » Thu Oct 06, 2016 10:20 pm

Gilberto de Piento wrote:Regarding the pension, how is the company doing? Do you trust them to keep paying you, even a long time from now?
They are doing well. It's a very stable company. I'm not sure whether they fund the annuity payments directly or if it's simply purchased somewhere else. Doesn't matter much because I'd take the payout anyways. I considered that the annuity could be a good safeguard to have some income protected from disastrous economical crash screwing up all my stocks and dividends. But if that really happened, the annuity would be probably be fucked too.

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Re: C40's Journal

Post by flip711 » Fri Oct 07, 2016 12:42 pm

C40 wrote: But if that really happened, the annuity would be probably be fucked too.
I tend to lean in the direction of "depends on the insurer." Has the annuity provider been around for 100+ years? They've weathered some pretty shitty storms if that's the case. It is interesting that Ben Bernanke's investment portfolio consists of one fixed and one variable annuity.

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Re: C40's Journal

Post by Augustus » Fri Oct 07, 2016 1:22 pm

I am very curious to know the details of the pension if you don't mind. I have been trying to find ways to squirrel away cash without the IRS getting their grubby paws all over it for years now. Did you pay taxes on the money before contributing? If not, do you know what type of pension it is?

My tax guy said I could have my company start a pension, but I would not be able to touch the money until I was old, or I became disabled. He did say there were thousands of ways to be disabled in the IRS' eyes though haha, carpal tunnel for example, just need a Dr to sign off on it.

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C40
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by C40 » Mon Oct 31, 2016 10:20 pm

Augustus wrote:I am very curious to know the details of the pension if you don't mind. I have been trying to find ways to squirrel away cash without the IRS getting their grubby paws all over it for years now. Did you pay taxes on the money before contributing? If not, do you know what type of pension it is?

My tax guy said I could have my company start a pension, but I would not be able to touch the money until I was old, or I became disabled. He did say there were thousands of ways to be disabled in the IRS' eyes though haha, carpal tunnel for example, just need a Dr to sign off on it.
I'm probably not the best place for advice here. Your tax guy is not looking at it from an ERE angle so he's missing some parts. To try to answer your questions:

- I don't think tax is paid on money that goes into the pension. When it comes to me taking the money out, it essentially works like the pre-tax investment vehicles (401k and similar). So this may indeed be a place to move some money and not have to pay income tax.
- Since it can work the same way as a 401k, there are the same ways to get the money ahead of time. Well, at least the IRA ladder is an option. I don't know if there is something like 72(t) for pensions. For me - when I have my old employers' pension give me the lump sum, it will go straight into a Traditional IRA, and I won't pay tax. Then I'll be converting some amount of Traditional IRA money to my Roth IRA each year. (If my earned income is zero, I can move a bit over $9k per year with no tax on it. ~19k would result in ~$900 tax. Then, 5 years after each conversion transaction, I can take that amount out of my Roth IRA with no tax or penalties. This is just the standard "ROTH IRA LADDER" method that you may have read about or could find information on. The MadFientist website has some blog posts about it.

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C40
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by C40 » Mon Oct 31, 2016 11:02 pm


-------------------------------------------
OBTOBER 2016 YEAR
-------------------------------------------



NOTES

The file I use for tracking spending and making charts is not as useful now that I’ve quit. I’m going to make a new version that will be more current for me, and more notably here, have some new charts that are more relevant not after quitting. Right now, my general goals are:
- Continue to refine strength training regimen. I feel like I have it pretty close but need to re-research some core strength stuff and figure out an overhead press replacement that I like.
- Reduce my food spending. I was at $400 this month. That’s all from the grocery store; I didn’t eat out once. One of the main changes will probably be to add lentils and maybe rice back into my diet.
- Update hobby income strategy. I have some ideas for new forms of hobby income and want to research them more. I could also put some time into my old one – shirt designs.


Dividends are rolling in. Some of the stocks I own increased their dividends this month. I get a $65 per year raise. YAY!

I don’t feel I have much to say here that will be interesting. This month I covered a lot of ground – through Oregon and California, which occupied quite a bit of time. And otherwise, I’ve been more focused on hobbies (photography, fitness and bicycling) than on introspection. I’ve slowed down now that I got down to where it’s warmer (Warm enough to swim in the ocean now without it hurting!).

My spending was both quite low and really high this month. My more normal spending was around $750. That’s a good sign since it includes enough gas to drive much more than I expect to most months. The abnormal part is that I’ve ordered a bunch of brand new camera gear. I’ve been taking a lot of pictures since I started traveling. My camera is 8 or so years old. I figured I might as well upgrade early on in my travels rather than waiting. Then once I was deciding what to get, I got sucked into the latest and greatest on the camera body. I also got a bunch of other handy things. I may still buy another lens and a few more things, but not a ton. I’ll probably sell my old camera soon and also a couple of my current lenses that won’t work well on the new camera. What’s the damage? 2-5 months’ worth of spending.




PICTURES

Over the last 5 weeks, I moved from Portland Oregon down most of the U.S. Pacific Coast. I went south through the middle of Oregon (the National Forests, Bend, Crater Lake). Then I went over to the coast once I got into California and drove down the coast. I’m currently in Santa Barbara. I’ll probably leave Santa Barbara within a couple weeks. I’m not exactly sure where I’ll go. I’ll probably go down into Los Angeles. I might go explore the National Forests and whatever else they are to the north and east of LA. I’ll likely head down to San Diego. After that, I may go to Arizona for a vandweller gathering. After that, it’s pretty wide open. The main options are:
- Going up through Arizona, hanging around Southern Utah, and maybe then going east into Colorado.
- Just Staying in Arizona. There’s plenty to do/explore there. Could go up into Utah in the fall.
- Go back up through California, this time on the central/eastern side. Joshua Tree, Death Valley, Sequoia, Yosemite.
- ?? Whatever else.

Anyways, pictures:

I went to Crater Lake. It’s so big that even with a super wide lens I couldn’t photograph the whole thing.
Image


In Oregon, just outside Crater Lake National Park:
Image

Driving, same location
Image


Beach in Carmel-By-The-Sea. It’s a nice little town with a bunch of rich/spendy people. I spent a week there. Every day I’d come down to this beach and get a prime spot in the parking lot. I’d stay there until it was dark and then go park in the town.
Image




Image

The beach in Carmel is really long, and there were many people out. There was no one in the water except for these two kids: the only people with the kind of excitement about life that it takes to brave the cold Pacific. And they were in the water a long time. They were about knee deep, but they were small enough and the waves big enough that they were knocked over by some. They always stayed near each other. When they saw a big wave approaching they'd hold hands so they could feel the wave crashing into them but not fall down with it.

Sometimes you see kids just acting like kids, and appearing that they’re looking at the world and life and the future with wondrous anticipation – that they’re open and learning and excited. In this case, I saw them looking out towards the sun and the entire pacific ocean, and going out into life and letting life tumble into them and enjoying all of the ups and downs. I don’t think I see nearly enough adults act that way. In fact, I see very few. I suppose part of it is that with adults, you’re less likely to see the way they do it. It might be happening in their head while they’re sitting on a lazy-boy. Most people that look at me wouldn’t see any - just a dude walking around or riding a bike or whatever. Still, I have a good idea of what goes through the head of most adults and I know that what is currently the childish kind of eagerness for life fades early and entirely for way too many people.

Anyways, It was a great 10-15 minutes watching these kids play in the water. Later, I wished I’d asked a lady that looked like their mom if she was, and got her email address so I could send her the pictures.


The beach in Carmel.
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This was at Point Lobos Nature Reserve, which is just a couple miles south of Carmel.
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This is McWay Falls in Big Sur. You’ve probably seen many pictures of this little cove. There is a pretty good story about it. The two main people in the story are women. I forget the details though. One of them was a sort of poor/normal person. I think she lived right around here first. The Second was an orphan but she also inherited a bunch of money. The second Lady also came and lived here. I think she is the one that built a house overlooking this cove. When they first made the house, there wasn't a beach here. It was just cliffs or hill all the way down to the water. The waterfall dropped into the ocean. Then there was a landslide a bit to the north. A bunch of that landslide ended up in the cove and made the beach.
Image
I guess you can barely see the waterfall in the little 800 pixel forum sized version.


Big Sur. Unfortunately there was huge fire in the National Forest that stretches along about 70 miles of the coast where there are no towns. That entire district was closed, so I drove the full stretch in one day.
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This was on Fiscalini Ranch Preserve, which is in Cambria.
Image



This was Cowell Ranch Beach, a reeeeaaaally nice beach a bit south of Half Moon Bay (which is ~30 miles south of San Francisco)
Image



On a beach in Santa Barbara
Image



I forget which town this was
Image

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BRUTE
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by BRUTE » Mon Oct 31, 2016 11:53 pm

C40 wrote: - Continue to refine strength training regimen. I feel like I have it pretty close but need to re-research some core strength stuff and figure out an overhead press replacement that I like.
brute loves handstand push-ups. how is C40 working out while living in the van? calisthenics?

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Re: C40's Journal

Post by C40 » Tue Nov 01, 2016 12:15 am

BRUTE wrote:
C40 wrote: - Continue to refine strength training regimen. I feel like I have it pretty close but need to re-research some core strength stuff and figure out an overhead press replacement that I like.
brute loves handstand push-ups. how is C40 working out while living in the van? calisthenics?

Do you do them entirely on your own (balancing) or with your feet touching something? I used to do them for fun in college with my feet touching a wall, and I've been meaning to try them out again. I do bodyweight calisthenics. Not inside the van. Usually at a park. The harder thing to find is something to use for pullups. Playgrouns work. Soccer goals work great. And some parks have actual work out structures.

I do squats one-legged with my hands under something that is the correct height to push up against to create extra resistance. That also helps me to balance, which is difficult at the bottom.

I do archer pushups, which are sort of like one-arm pushups, but I would imagine less risky for my shoulders. I've had to start doing these really slow and probably need to start wearing a backpack to get more resistance.

I also do some smaller stuff:

For hand/grip/wrist:
I have an Ivanko Super Gripper that I use. Plus I'll do a bit of pinch grip work using whatever (sometimes just the palm of my other hand or my arm). and some wrist strength stuff typically using my other hand/arm for resistance. Plus some core stuff, mostly stomach muscle work now but I like I said I want to figure out some other core strength stuff I used to do and start that again.

I also work the muscles in my lower front leg because I could possibly have a muscle imbalance between those and my calfs.

I've started doing some neck stuff, just using my hands/arms for resistance, in the four main directions (Forwards, backwards, left, right)

I do L-Flies using my other arm for resistance.

That's everything i can remember right now. I've considered starting doing something to simulate deadlifts - for my lower back, but I'm not sure what to do other than to hold onto something and basically do isometrics.

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Re: C40's Journal

Post by cmonkey » Tue Nov 01, 2016 8:11 am

C40 wrote:Still, I have a good idea of what goes through the head of most adults and I know that what is currently the childish kind of eagerness for life fades early and entirely for way too many people.

This is one of DW's greatest strengths, that she hasn't given up that 'childish eagerness' for the things she loves. I wish I could find it again. It's one of the things that I most love about her.


Great update as always. :)

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Re: C40's Journal

Post by BRUTE » Tue Nov 01, 2016 8:26 am

@C40: for strength purposes, leaning the feet against a wall is fine. free standing is badass, but brute is more after the strength than balance.

for simulating deadlifts, brute has some yoga bands. he just uses all the yoga bands together for isometrics. it's pretty intense, brute almost blacked out the first time he went all-out :) in general, brute really like isometrics.

pull-ups are tricky, yea. maybe from the back door of the van with the door open? C40 could also get a pair of gymnastic rings and throw them over tree branches, or even find a way to mount them in/on the van? they can be used for rows, dips, pull-ups, and more.

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Re: C40's Journal

Post by CS » Tue Nov 01, 2016 11:28 am

Wow. Great photos. You are really using that wide-angle lens (and the associated distortion) in a fantastic way. Most people can't even see it, much less use it so effectively.

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Re: C40's Journal

Post by C40 » Wed Nov 02, 2016 12:34 pm

CS wrote:Wow. Great photos. You are really using that wide-angle lens (and the associated distortion) in a fantastic way. Most people can't even see it, much less use it so effectively.
:-D Thanks!

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Viktor K
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by Viktor K » Wed Nov 02, 2016 2:40 pm

@C40

I'm super stoked for you man! A net worth or average monthly withdrawal rate graph would be cool. Now that you're "doing it" it'll be good for others to see how the assets fluctuate in retirement. I, for one, am super interested in doing what you did with the van once we hit our ERE over here. Living in the van would be a little difficult (not impossible) while being employed, but once you're free, what a great cheap way to spend a few years traveling around. Have you thought about that actually? How long does this chapter (van-life) last for? What's next? Or are you more in just a honeymoon stage right now, living life day to day? Stay safe on the road man but otherwise hell yeah! Keep taking those photos they're awesome!

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Re: C40's Journal

Post by NickHalden » Fri Nov 04, 2016 10:16 am

I recognize the Cambria scenery from my roadtrip there 4 years ago. I was not enlighted by ERE principles back then so I spent like 20% of a years income in 3 weeks, but I LOVED it and will probably never forget about it.

Thanks for keeping us posted :)

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Re: C40's Journal

Post by C40 » Mon Nov 14, 2016 11:54 pm

I'm making very slow progress on redoing my finances file and charts. I'm now in San Diego. I've spent some time with Ego and he's even more awesome in person than he seems on here and in his commercial and book. I've also started on a fun project with a friend who lives here. In the meantime, here's a little recap of my thoughts and experiences in Santa Barbara, CA.

SANTA BARBARA
 
On my way south, I stopped in San Luis Obispo for a few days. The big news here was that the plants in people’s yards started looking wonderful. And they smelled good! Really fragrant! Wow! Just walking around a block I’d walk by 4 or 5 different wonderful scents from these plants. This was the first city on my way down the coast that smelled this good. Maybe it just seems this way because I've spent little time here and haven't seen these kind of plants, but the plants people have in their yards here seem so much more beautiful and varied that what I'm used to from the midwest. 

After that I went down to Santa Barbara. There are some national forests around there, so I went into the forest to camp for a while. I went to the Santa Barbara district which is - big surprise - right by Santa Barbara. Turns out they are worried about fires right now and don’t allow you to do much of anything. You want to camp? Ok sure, yeah, you have to go into one of the 2-3 campgrounds right next to each other (basically a parking lot). Oh and you have to pay $20 per night. No fires anywhere in the Santa Barbara ranger district. No No No. NO! 

So I went down into Santa Barbara. I’d spend the next 15 days there.

Santa Barbara is really freakin’ nice.
 

SANTA BARBARA IN A FEW PARAGRAPHS
First thing's first: the best beach there is Hendry’s. It’s way better than the others. The second best beach is over by the 4 seasons resort, which has free wifi. Santa Barbara was the first place on my journey down the California coast where the water was warm enough to swim in relative comfort. It’s still pretty cold, but you can go in it without wanting to get right out. And it’s not cold enough to painful. The weather was absolutely perfect while I was there. The highs ranged from 70-85 and the lows were around 50-60. I spent 6 days at the beaches - at least a few hours each time laying on the beach, reading, and going in the ocean. 

The main road in downtown is State Street. It’s really nice. They’re doing shopping right. No mall. Lots of stores along a downtown street. There are pianos sitting on most corners along State Street. Each time I walked the length of the street (about a mile), I’d pass 4 or 5 people playing a piano very well. I never knew that so many people who are just walking around in public can sit down at a random (and I’d guess, pretty crappy) piano and play wonderful music. I bet there are very few cities where you could get music of this quality by placing communal pianos downtown and letting whoever wants play them. Maybe something to do with how much money people spend? (including piano lessons for kids)
 
This is a great city for road cycling, as long as you like going up hills. The city is on a pretty narrow stretch of flat land between the coast and hills/mountains. There are a number of different paved roads going up those hills. I rode up San Marcos St. 4 or 5 times. The views from that road are wonderful. Others (Gibraltar) are probably as good or better.

House prices in Santa Barbara are insane. I checked Zillow and put an upper limit of $500,000. No results. NO RESULTS. There are some small and crappy houses here but there’s not one for sale for less than half a million. People here seem to spend a LOT of money.

The age demographics here are odd. There are a ton of old people. There are a lot of college kids. There’s not many people in between. Except for in the Mexican parts of town. They have all the normal age ranges. 




HOW ABOUT A HISTORY LESSON?
There is some interesting history here. It’s now been a few weeks since I read about this so I forget the names and the details are cloudy.
 
There was a guy - an American - a decorated guy who had some fame for bravery, exploration, and other successes. He was in charge of the American military in the area at the moment when the U.S. decided California was too awesome to let Mexico keep having it. This awesome guy lead the U.S. Army (or whatever) over the nearby mountains to storm into Santa Barbara for a battle.

Backing up a little - the Spanish had set up a fort in Santa Barbara. It was a few acres in size. It was some buildings and hallways that made an outer square, with most of the middle open (although there were also houses and other buildings added to the middle at some point). 200 people lived in there, and 50 or so were soldiers. Now, I guess, this fort and the land were a part of Mexico.

So the brave Americans come running down the hill over the mountains. It was snowing and cold and everything up there. Windy as hell. Slippery. Treacherous! A bunch of their horses and mules died. But no soldiers. They came charging down the hill towards Santa Barbara, foaming at the mouth, ready to crush these little Spaniards/Mexicans into oblivion. 

The Mexicans in the fort saw them coming and were appropriately worried. A nice old lady in the fort convinced the leadership that it wasn’t worth fighting. When as the Americans charged in, the Mexicans said “nah, we don’t want to fight”. So they didn't fight. I don’t know exactly what happened next. But pretty soon all of California belonged to the United States.



VANDWELLING IN SANTA BARBARA
It’s easy.

Parking is no problem. In the suburbs to the west, there are plenty of neighborhoods with room to park. In Santa Barbara itself, it’s more congested, but still pretty easy to find spots. The tricky part is the street cleaning schedule. They have a very specific rotation and each street has a 2 hour “No Parking” window every week when the street sweeper comes through. The schedule is all spread out, so one street may be closed 8-10am Monday, and the next 1-3pm Tuesday, and so on, with the cleaners appearing to work full days all weekdays. Well, one time I parked and forgot to check the sign, and I happened to pick the wrong street at the wrong time and caused a little bit of the street to not be cleaned and got a ticket for $50.

If you’re looking for easy places to park where you don’t have to worry at all during the night about someone not liking you parked there, this is the best one in town: (34.426664,-119.690942). If you want to park near a library and where you solar panels will get lots of sun, this is a good area: (34.424184,-119.678544). 


Shopping area at night - just off State Street.
Image

At the beach - the one by the four seasons
Image

Image

Image
 
When I was taking the pictures above, a guy walked by and talked a bit. Then I saw him a little ways down the beach and we spoke more - for about an hour. He's probably in his 50's. When I told him about my van and traveling, he told me a bunch of stories of his own - how he's had two different Volkswagon vans that he either lived or traveled in. How he went to Yosemite a TON of times and would camp there against the rules, hidden in plain site in his van (and would just not respond to the knocks of rangers, which would quickly move on) or hidden out in the park, at times in a sleeping bag on a tarp, out in the open with no tent, just nestled in some prairie. He said there are groups of climbers and other sorts of people who know a bunch of tricks for free camping in Yosemite. 
 
 

On the way down to San Diego
Image
I love this picture :-D 

What’s next?
- I’ll be in and around San Diego for the next month or more. (I drove through the entire Los Angeles area quickly. I wasn’t in the mood for LA. I did have an In N Out Cheeseburger. mmmmmmmm, yeah buddy!)
 
A lot is happening in San Deigo. I'll have some cool stuff to share.

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Re: C40's Journal

Post by BRUTE » Tue Nov 15, 2016 1:00 am

has C40 tried protein style at In & Out?

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Re: C40's Journal

Post by C40 » Tue Nov 15, 2016 1:13 am

BRUTE wrote:has C40 tried protein style at In & Out?
I have not. That sounds good. Or, at least, it sounds ok. I'll try to remember this the next time I eat there. So far I'm at about one visit per three years.

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Re: C40's Journal

Post by cmonkey » Tue Nov 15, 2016 8:53 am

C40 wrote:On my way south, I stopped in San Luis Obispo for a few days. The big news here was that the plants in people’s yards started looking wonderful. And they smelled good! Really fragrant! Wow! Just walking around a block I’d walk by 4 or 5 different wonderful scents from these plants. This was the first city on my way down the coast that smelled this good. Maybe it just seems this way because I've spent little time here and haven't seen these kind of plants, but the plants people have in their yards here seem so much more beautiful and varied that what I'm used to from the midwest.
One of my goals in life is to live in a different climate, and this is the motivator. I'd like to experience year-round gardening at its finest, but I don't want to give up that 4-season living either. So it's tricky, but I bet we can figure it out.

This year would suggest that I might not need to move, though. A new climate seems to be finding me :P

I'm really glad you have kept updating!

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Re: C40's Journal

Post by sky » Tue Nov 15, 2016 3:19 pm

We loved San Diego and thought about staying permanently.

http://www.cheaprvliving.com/forums/Thr ... ture-heavy

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Re: C40's Journal

Post by C40 » Tue Nov 15, 2016 3:29 pm

sky wrote:We loved San Diego and thought about staying permanently.

http://www.cheaprvliving.com/forums/Thr ... ture-heavy
Oh thank you, those look like great locations (some of which I've seen over the last week). Yeah, San Diego is wonderful. Everyone has their own preferences, but after driving through San Francisco and Los Angeles, San Diego feels like an Oasis.

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Re: C40's Journal

Post by _JT » Tue Nov 15, 2016 4:23 pm

SLO, Santa Barbara, and San Diego are all great. Although I also loved LA when I lived there. But it takes some time to get into.

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Re: C40's Journal

Post by C40 » Mon Nov 21, 2016 9:03 pm

THE “JUST PICK IT UP” STRATEGY

My family and friends of course all know that I’m living in the van. I’m doing something that seems quite unique to them, and that has it’s own little challenges or opportunities to optimize. This combination has generated some interesting “you needs” from them, and some interesting “well, I don’t exactly need” explanations from me.

When I’m talking to a family member or friend, some of them have said, in a way that’s apparent they’re now remembering something they thought of or saw before, “Oh, you need an [ACB] for [XYZ]. The things they bring up are not stupid, they often just wouldn’t be worth buying for me, or they wouldn’t be worth having given my space limitations. Some things include:
- A toilet/porta potty thing
- A grill
- Metal sticks to roast things over a fire with
- At least 5 other things I can’t remember.

I should just say, “oh, thanks. That’s so nice you thought to tell me about that, I’ll check it out”. But my INTJ way of thinking and whatever other social ineptitude I have leads me to say “well, that would be cool to have at certain times, but ……”. Often the issue is that the recommended item would only serve one function, and occupies too much space to be worth carrying just for that one purpose.

Sometimes, I’m able to use this explanation:
[quote=”C40”] Generally if I’m able to fulfill the function of a [THING] by just picking something up off the ground, I don’t need to carry around a [THING] in my van all the time. When I need to do [xxx] I could just find a [yyy] on the ground and use it”. All three of the examples above actually fit this pretty well.

- I don’t need to carry around a toilet inside my van, because all I need to poop in is a little hole in the ground, and a trowel takes up barely any space in my van (and in cities there are toilets all over the place)
- I don’t need to carry around a grill when I can just make a fire on the ground.
- I don’t need to carry a metal stick for roasting things on a fire when I could just pick up a stick off the ground and sharpen one end
[/quote]

Jacob explained this when he was on a podcast years ago, talking about a grill not being needed if you can just take the rack from inside your oven outside and put it on some rocks. Was that his interview on “The Survival Podcast”?

So, something good to keep in mind when you think about buying something (and all the effort that goes along with that – researching, going to a store, deciding, storing, etc.) is: “can I just pick something up off the ground to serve that purpose?”



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THE “DO NOTHING STRATEGY”

This one is golden, especially when it comes to limiting spending on hobbies and fun stuff.

Here’s an example:
I have a bike computer that’s 8-10 years old. It’s a good one. I haven’t used it for years. I decided recently to start using it again. It’s a Garmin computer that has a mapping system, routes, ride history, etc. It has an internal rechargeable battery. So I needed to charge the battery. It uses micro USB. I didn’t have a Micro USB cord. Over the next week or so I looked while I was in stores that might have one. Nope. None. Too outdated. Ok, they’ll be really cheap online. Nope. $20.

I’m not spending $20 on an outdated $3 cord. So I just did nothing. It went on the mental (and written) list of things I want.

Fast forward a month, at my friends house. They like bicycling we went on some rides together. I brought up the micro USB cord thing. My friend said “oh, I might have some of those in the desk in our office”. We go in there, open the drawer, and there are SIX micro USB cords right on the top. Ha!

Doing nothing has saved me thousands of dollars, at least hundreds of hours of effort, and in many cases has solved my problems better than just buying something right away.

This strategy works best when you’re also able to not have crises in your life. A crisis needs to be solved immediately. Immediate solutions are often expensive and not entirely effective. The opportunity and willingness to wait, or to “do nothing” works wonders for bringing you serendipity. Other times helps you realize that you didn’t really want or need that thing so bad.




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FUNNY MOMENTS WITH MY FRIEND


FREE STUFF JUST APPEARING!
My buddy who lives in San Diego is a videographer. When I got to town he said “Where are you parked? I’m coming to meet you to smoke a joint an talk business”. That business was that he wanted to make a video about me living in the van.

We were out shooting the other weekend. The first place we went was a little area of dirt overlooking a beach and sort of swamp. While he was setting up his camera and the shots, I walked around to move trash that was probably in the shots. One of those trash Items happened to be a 6 pack of tall beer cans, with four of the cans remaining in the 6 pack. Unopened. The cans and seams were undamaged so I took the 6-pack over to my friend to ask if he wants it. He did and said that it’s a fancy beer. $15 for a 6 pack.

The third location we went to was near a Library. We found a parking spot in the Library and started walking over. As we walked past the front entrance, there was a rack of books and magazines with a “free” sign on it. One book quickly stood out to me, about a subject we had been discussing with the friend’s girlfriend last night , something she seems very fascinated about. We took another book, and about 10 magazines that my friend likes reading. Score!



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TRASH EPIDEMIC OF THE “RICH”

One evening we did some shooting near a beach. That’s where the pictures in this post were taken. While driving back towards my friends house, we went down a road with beachfront houses. My friend noticed some trash cans out on the street and said “oh yeah, this street is a dumpster diving goldmine”. He listed a number of nice things he’s found here left out for trash by their owners. Furniture, electronics, etc. After passing 10 or so houses, a trend was apparent. These people throw a lot away. Every house had multiple trash cans out. Some had SIX or SEVEN! I thought maybe this was just because trash pickup was infrequent. Surely, with this much trash, it must only be collected one a month. Or every other week? I asked my friend. He said “oh, the trash is picked up twice per week”. TWICE PER WEEK!

By my quick calculations, these households are throwing away somewhere between one and four THOUSAND pounds of stuff per month.




I’ve hung out with Ego a number of times since arriving in San Diego. I want to write about some of the things I’ve learned of/with him, but after writing the above I need a break. So, stay tuned folks.

CS
Posts: 121
Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2012 10:24 pm

Re: C40's Journal

Post by CS » Mon Nov 21, 2016 9:51 pm

That's an amazing amout of trash. Holy cow.

Love that you guys found beer on the beach. Now if someone would just leave some gluten free beer sitting around here, life would be golden.
Last edited by CS on Tue Nov 22, 2016 11:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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theanimal
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by theanimal » Tue Nov 22, 2016 2:36 am

Beautiful light in your pictures.

I get the same offers in terms of things that could better my life. Portable washing machines, ideas for power etc. All are well meaning, but I have the same tendency as you and tend to shoot them down right away. Another area in which to improve.

Looking forward to your next post. And if you're willing to share, it'd be great to see the video your friend makes once he's done with it!

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